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1. (WO2007007941) APPARATUS HAVING REINFORCING MEANS FOR HORIZONTALLY PACKAGING THIN FILM DISPLAY PANELS
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DESCRIPTION

APPARATUS HAVING REINFORCING MEANS FOR HORIZONTALLY PACKAGING THIN FILM DISPLAY PANELS

Technical Field
The present invention relates to an apparatus having a reinforcing means for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which can efficiently package a plurality of thin film display panels and can be easily produced, thus reducing production time thereof.

Background Art
Generally, thin film displays, such as plasma display panels (PDP) , thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) and organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) , which have excellent display properties, for example, display capacity, brightness, contrast, residual image and viewing angle; a thin structure; and a function of displaying large-sized images, have been exported in an incomplete product state, in which the panel and the case are separated from each other to be assembled into a complete product by an importer on the importer's field.
Thus, it has been required to provide a packaging box for thin film display panels, which can safely transport incomplete-state thin film display panels with high loading efficiency without causing breakage or damage to the thin film display panels.
The present inventor proposed an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels in Korean Patent Application No. 10-2005-0023262. As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the packaging apparatus proposed by the present inventor comprises a packaging frame 10 having a central opening and a support seat 20 which is formed inside the packaging frame 10 and horizontally seats a thin film display panel M thereon. The packaging apparatus is configured such that a plurality of packaging apparatuses horizontally packaging respective thin film display panels M can be laid atop one another.
Here, the material for the packaging frame 10 and the support seat 20 integrated with each other is selected from a variety of expanded synthetic resin materials, such as EPP, EPE and EPS having a cushioning function and a strength higher than a predetermined level capable of safely transporting the contents regardless of external shocks applied thereto. The density of the packaging frame 10 is preferably higher than that of the support seat 20.
If a plurality of thin film display panels M are packaged in a plurality of conventional packaging apparatuses having the above-mentioned construction, the packaging apparatuses respectively having the thin film display panels can be variously stacked atop one another in a variety of transportation containing boxes, such as the freight boxes of vehicles or transportation containers, while changing the number of stacked layers of the apparatuses according to the heights of the loading spaces of the containing boxes, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency.
Further, the packaging frame 10 which forms the outside part of the conventional packaging apparatus has a higher density so that, even if external shocks are applied to the packaging apparatus during transportation of a plurality of packaging apparatuses respectively and horizontally packaging thin film display panels, the packaging frame 10 is prevented from damage or deformation. Furthermore, the support seat 20 which forms the inside part of the packaging apparatus has a lower density so that, if the external shocks are transmitted to the support seat 20, the support seat 20 is appropriately deformed to a predetermined level, thus executing a cushioning function of absorbing impact energy of the external shocks and minimizing damage to the thin film display panel M packaged in the packaging apparatus .
The conventional apparatus for packaging thin film display panels provides the above-mentioned advantages, but the apparatus is also problematic as follows.
In the conventional apparatus for packaging thin film display panels, the packaging frame 10 and the support seat 20, which are formed using the same material but have different densities, constitute a reinforcing means for protecting a packaged thin film display panel M from being damaged or broken by external shocks . To form the reinforcing means having dual density, a mold having a cavity and a plug inserted in the cavity to define a molding space corresponding to the shape of a required packaging apparatus in the cavity is prepared. A partition film is placed in the molding space and sections the molding space, defined by the plug, into two space parts respectively designated to the packaging frame and the support seat. Thereafter, higher density expandable particles having a bead shape are charged in one of the two space parts, for example, the space part for the packaging frame, and are formed into a packaging frame 10 through first molding. After the first molding, the partition film is removed from the cavity and, thereafter, lower density expandable particles having a bead shape are charged in the other space part designated to the support seat and are formed into a support seat 20 through second molding.
However, the process of molding the reinforcing means having dual density using the same material requires to specifically produce a mold having two cavity parts respectively designated to a higher density part and a lower density part and, furthermore, requires two molding steps to be sequentially executed, thus increasing production time. Further, the packaging apparatus, which is the product to be produced through the molding process, is a body having a thin rectangular frame shape, so that it is very difficult to place a partition film in the molding space of the mold cavity. Furthermore, because high pressure must be applied to the mold cavity to charge the bead-shaped expandable particles in a molding space around the partition film without causing the particles to be hardened, it is very difficult to evenly charge the expandable particles in the molding space.

Description of Drawings
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a conventional apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view illustrating the conventional apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view illustrating a plurality of conventional apparatuses which are sequentially laid atop one another to horizontally package respective thin film display panels;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has a reinforcing means comprising a cover body according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of the apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has the reinforcing means comprising the cover body according to the first embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line I-I of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view illustrating a plurality of apparatuses, which individually have a reinforcing means comprising a cover body according to the first embodiment of the present invention, and which are sequentially laid atop one another to horizontally package respective thin film display panels;
FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the first embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a cover body;
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has a reinforcing means comprising a reinforcing film according to a second embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 10 is an assembled perspective view of the apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has the reinforcing means comprising the reinforcing film according to the second embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a sectional view illustrating a plurality of apparatuses, which individually have a reinforcing means comprising a reinforcing film according to the second embodiment of the present invention, and which are sequentially laid atop one another to horizontally package respective thin film display panels;
FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the second embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a reinforcing film;
FIG. 14 is a partially sectioned perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging a thin film display panel, which has a reinforcing means comprising a fusion-compressed hard skin provided on the outer surface of the apparatus according to a third embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 15 is a partially sectioned perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the third embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a fusion-compressed hard skin provided on the outer surface of the apparatus .
<Description of the elements in the drawings>
100: packaging frame 110: locking protrusion
120: locking slot 130: handling slot
200: support seat 210: circuit seat groove
300a: U-shaped longer cover body
310a, 310b, 411a, 411b, 431a, 431b: exposing notch
300b: U-shaped shorter cover body
410a: upper longer reinforcing film
420a: outside longer reinforcing film
430a: lower longer reinforcing film
410b: upper shorter reinforcing film
420b: outside shorter reinforcing film
430b: lower shorter reinforcing film
500a: upper hard skin part
500b: outside hard skin part
500c: lower hard skin part
600: lid 610: lid locking slot
620: thick part 700: cushion member
M: thin film display panel Ml: drive circuit Disclosure
Technical Problem
Accordingly, the present invention has been made keeping in mind the above problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide an apparatus having a reinforcing means for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which can horizontally package a thin film display panel therein and allow a plurality of packaged thin film display panels to be laid atop one another, and which can variously and efficiently load the thin film display panels in a variety of transportation containers having differently standardized sizes, according to different heights of the loading spaces of the containers, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency, and which uses a reinforcing means embodied into an injection-molded cover body, a reinforcing film or a fusion-compressed reinforcing hard skin, thus allowing the reinforcing means to be easily produced and reducing production time of the reinforcing means .

Technical Solution
In order to achieve the above-mentioned object, the present invention provides a packaging apparatus for thin film display panels comprising a packaging frame having a central opening, a support seat provided inside the packaging frame to horizontally seat a thin film display panel thereon, and a reinforcing means provided on the outside surface of the packaging frame.

Advantageous Effects
As is apparent from the above descriptions, the present invention provides a packaging apparatus, which can horizontally package a thin film display panel therein and can allow a plurality of packaged thin film display panels to be laid atop one another. Thus, the packaging apparatus of the present invention is advantageous in that the thin film display panels can be variously and efficiently loaded in a variety of transportation containers having differently-standardized sizes, according to different heights of the loading spaces of the containers, so that the panel loading efficiency is maximized. Furthermore, another advantage of the present invention resides in that the packaging apparatus uses a reinforcing means which is embodied into an injection-molded cover body, a reinforcing film or a fusion-compressed reinforcing hard skin, thus allowing the reinforcing means to be easily produced and reducing production time of the reinforcing means.

Best Mode
Hereafter, the construction and operation of preferred embodiments of the present invention will * be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings .
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has a reinforcing means comprising a cover body according to a first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 is an assembled perspective view of the apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has the reinforcing means comprising the cover body according to the first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line I-I of FIG. 5. FIG. 7 is a sectional view illustrating a plurality of apparatuses, which individually have a reinforcing means comprising a cover body according to the first embodiment of the present invention, and which are sequentially laid atop one another to horizontally package respective thin film display panels. FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the first embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a cover body.
As shown in the drawings, the apparatus having a reinforcing means for horizontally packaging thin film display panels M according to the present invention comprises a packaging frame 100 having a central opening and a support seat 200 which is integrally formed inside the packaging frame 100 and horizontally seats a thin film display panel M thereon, with a reinforcing means securely provided on the outside surface of the packaging frame 100.

A plurality of circuit seat grooves 210 is formed on the support seat 200 of the frame 100 so that, when a thin film display panel M is seated on the support seat 200, a drive circuit Ml of the thin film display panel M is seated in the circuit seat grooves 210. To allow a plurality of packaging apparatuses to be securely and stably laid atop one another, the packaging frame 100 of each packaging apparatus is provided with a plurality of locking protrusions 110 on its upper surface. Furthermore, the lower surface of the packaging frame 100 is provided with a plurality of locking slots 120 at positions corresponding to the plurality of locking protrusions 110.
The packaging frame 100 integrally having the support seat 200 is preferably made of an expanded synthetic resin, such as expanded polypropylene (EPP) , expanded polyethylene

(EPE) or expanded polystyrene (EPS) , which has strength and flexibility higher than predetermined levels, so that the packaging frame 100 can protect the display panel from external shocks during transportation of the panel.
The reinforcing means comprises two U-shaped longer cover bodies 300a, each of which covers the upper surface, outside surface and lower surface of each of two longer sides of the packaging frame 100, and two U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b, each of which covers the upper surface, outside surface and lower surface of each of two shorter sides of the packaging frame 100. A plurality of exposing notches 310a and 310b are formed through the upper and lower surfaces of the U-shaped longer cover bodies 300a and the U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b, so that the plurality of locking protrusions 110 formed on the upper surface of the packaging frame 100 and the plurality of locking slots 120 formed on the lower surface of the packaging frame 100 are exposed to the outside of the cover bodies 300a and 300b.
Here, the junction edges of the U-shaped longer cover bodies 300a and the U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b securely fitted over the packaging frame 100 are configured into inclined edges, so that the inclined junction edges can be brought into precise contact with each other.
Further, in the packaging apparatus having a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged according to a modification of the first embodiment of the present invention, the number of U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b having the same size are increased to correspond to the number of horizontally arranged packaging parts. Thus, the modification reduces the gap between a plurality of packaging apparatuses which are laid atop one another to a minimum level, so that the space required by the packaging apparatuses when loading the packaging apparatuses in a shipping means, such as containers, can be minimized, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency. Further, the packaging parts of the apparatus according to the present modification individually have a reinforcing means for minimizing the breakage or damage to thin film display panels during transportation.
FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has a reinforcing means comprising a reinforcing film according to a second embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 10 is an assembled perspective view of the apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels, which has the reinforcing means comprising the reinforcing film according to the second embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 10. FIG. 12 is a sectional view illustrating a plurality of apparatuses, which individually have a reinforcing means comprising a reinforcing film according to the second embodiment of the present invention, and which are sequentially laid atop one another to horizontally package respective thin film display panels. FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the second embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a reinforcing film.
As shown in the drawings, in the packaging apparatus according to the second embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a packaging frame 100 having a central opening and a support seat 200 integrally formed inside the packaging frame 100, the reinforcing means comprises an upper longer reinforcing film 410a, an outside longer reinforcing film 420a and a lower longer reinforcing film 430a, which respectively cover the upper surface, outside surface and lower surface of each of two longer sides of the packaging frame 100. The reinforcing means further comprises an upper shorter reinforcing film 410b, an outside shorter reinforcing film 420b and a lower shorter reinforcing film 430b, which respectively cover the upper surface, outside surface and lower surface of each of two shorter sides of the packaging frame 100. The upper longer reinforcing films 410a, lower longer reinforcing films 430a, upper shorter reinforcing films 410b, and lower shorter reinforcing films 430b are provided with respective exposing notches 411a, 411b, 431a and 431b, so that the plurality of locking protrusions 110 formed on the upper surface of the packaging frame 100 and the plurality of locking slots 120 formed on the lower surface of the packaging frame 100 are exposed to the outside of the reinforcing films 410a, 430a, 410b and 430b.
In the present invention, the respective reinforcing films 410a, 420a, 430a, 410b, 420b and 430b are preferably made of a hard plastic material .
Further, in the packaging apparatus having a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged according to a modification of the second embodiment of the present invention, the lengths of the upper longer reinforcing films 410a, outside longer reinforcing films 420a, lower longer reinforcing films 430a, upper shorter reinforcing films 410b, outside shorter reinforcing films 420b and lower shorter reinforcing films 430b are increased to correspond to the total length of the horizontally arranged packaging parts. Thus, the modification of the second embodiment reduces the gap between a plurality of packaging apparatuses which are laid atop one another to a minimum level, so that the space required by the packaging apparatuses when loading the packaging apparatuses in a shipping means, such as containers, can be minimized, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency. Further, the packaging parts of the apparatus according to the present modification individually have a reinforcing means for minimizing breakage or damage to thin film display panels during transportation.
FIG. 14 is a partially sectioned perspective view of an apparatus for horizontally packaging a thin film display panel, which has a reinforcing means comprising a fusion-compressed hard skin provided on the outer surface of the apparatus according to a third embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 15 is a partially sectioned perspective view illustrating an apparatus for horizontally packaging thin film display panels according to a modification of the third embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged and individually having a reinforcing means embodied into a fusion-compressed hard skin provided on the outer surface of the apparatus.
As shown in the drawings, in the packaging apparatus according to the third embodiment of the present invention, which comprises a packaging frame 100 having a central opening and a support seat 200 integrally formed inside the packaging frame 100, the reinforcing means is embodied as a fusion-compressed hard skin comprising an upper hard skin part 500a, an outside hard skin part 500b and a lower hard skin part 500c, which are integrated with each other into a single body and form an appearance of the packaging frame 100. To provide the fusion-compressed hard skin, first, a packaging frame body is prepared through forming such that the external part of the frame body, which comprises an upper surface, outside surface and lower surface, has a surplus volume compared to a predetermined reference size and, thereafter, the external part of the frame body having the surplus volume is heated to a high temperature and becomes fused. Thereafter, the fused external part of the frame body is compressed at a predetermined pressure and is cooled. Thus, the external part of the frame body having the surplus volume is fused, compressed and hardened to form the appearance of the packaging frame 100 comprising the upper hard skin part 500a, the outside hard skin part 500b and the lower hard skin part 500c.
The process of producing the hard skin parts 500a, 500b and 500c forming the appearance of the packaging frame 100 will be described in more detail herein below.
A packaging frame body, which has a surplus volume compared to a predetermined reference size, is inserted in a heating device which can be separated into upper and lower parts. In the present invention, the heating device comprises an upper mold and a lower mold which form therein a cavity corresponding to the appearance of a desired packaging frame. The heating device is configured such that a heating wire is provided on only the inner surfaces of the cavity thereof corresponding to the appearance of the desired packaging frame 100, which comprises the upper surface, outside surface and lower surface, so that heat can be transferred to only the appearance of the packaging frame 100. A heat intercepting means is preferably provided in the cavity of the upper and lower molds to prevent heat from being transferred to some parts of the surfaces of the cavity which come into contact with the surfaces of the support seat .
Thereafter, the inner temperature of the heating device is increased to a predetermined point and is kept for a predetermined period at the temperature, so that the external part of the frame body becomes fused. The fused external part of the frame body is compressed for a predetermined period at a predetermined pressure. The heating device is, thereafter, cooled to a predetermined temperature (120—200"C) prior to removing the packaging frame from the heating device.
During the process, the operational conditions of the heating device, such as the heating temperature, cooling temperature, compression pressure and the keeping time, may vary in accordance with the properties, thickness and density of the material of the expanded synthetic resin. Thus, the operational conditions are preferably controlled in consideration of the above-mentioned properties, thickness and density of the expanded synthetic resin in every process for producing a hard skin.
Due to the fusion-compression, the upper surface, outside surface and the lower surface of the packaging frame body having the surplus volume are compressed to form a desired hard skin comprising an upper hard skin part 500a, outside hard skin part 500b and lower hard skin part 500c.
Further, in the packaging apparatus having a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged according to a modification of the third embodiment of the present invention, the size of the fusion-compressed hard skin is increased to correspond to the size of the horizontally arranged packaging parts. Thus, the modification reduces the gap between a plurality of packaging apparatuses which are laid atop one another to a minimum level, so that the space required by the packaging apparatuses when loading the packaging apparatuses in a shipping means, such as containers, can be minimized, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency. Further, the packaging parts of the apparatus according to the present modification individually have a reinforcing means for minimizing the breakage or damage to thin film display panels during transportation.
The packaging apparatus having the above-mentioned variously embodied reinforcing means according to the present invention preferably comprises a lid 600 which is placed on the top of the uppermost one of the packaging frames 100 laid atop one another during transportation.
In the present invention, to cause the lid 600 to securely cover the top of the uppermost packaging frame 100, the lid 600 is provided with a plurality of lid locking slots 610 on a lower surface thereof at positions corresponding to the plurality of locking protrusions 110 formed on the upper surface of each of the packaging frames 100. Further, the lid 600 has a thick part 620 at the central portion of the lower surface thereof to be inserted into and close the central opening of the uppermost packaging frame 100. In the above case, the thick part 620 is preferably configured such that the lower horizontal surface thereof has a length capable of efficiently cushioning and supporting the thin film display panel M loaded in the uppermost packaging frame 100.
Furthermore, two handling slots 130 are formed on opposite inner surfaces of the packaging frame 100, so that a user can easily grip and handle the thin film display panel M while loading or unloading the panel M into or from the packaging frame 100.
Furthermore, the support surfaces of both the packaging frame 100 and the support seat 200, which are in contact with the thin film display panel M seated on the support seat 200 in the packaging frame 100, are configured into shapes corresponding to the appearance of the thin film display panel M, so that the support surfaces can cushion the packaged thin film display panel M.
Furthermore, in a plurality of packaging apparatuses which have respective thin film display panels therein and are laid atop one another, a plurality of piece-shaped cushion members 700 are placed between the upper surface and the lower surface of neighboring thin film display panels M. Thus, even if the support seat 200 is deformed by external shocks, the cushion members 700 support and cushion the upper surface and lower surface of the neighboring thin film display panels M, thereby preventing the thin film display panels M from colliding with each other and securing safety transportation of the panels.
The cover bodies, which constitute the reinforcing means according to the first embodiment of the present invention, will be applied and fixed to the packaging apparatus, which comprises the packaging frame 100 having the central opening and the support seat 200 provided inside the packaging frame 100, as follows. A number of U-shaped longer cover bodies 300a and a number of U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b are prepared in consideration of the number of required packaging frames 100 and, thereafter, two longer cover bodies 300a and two shorter cover bodies 300b are fitted over designated parts of each of the packaging frames 100.
Thereafter, a plurality of thin film display panels M are loaded in respective packaging apparatuses having the cover bodies 300a and 300b. In the above case, the support surfaces of both the packaging frame 100 and the support seat 200, which are in contact with the thin film display panel M, correspond to the appearance of the thin film display panel M, so that the support surfaces can intercept the external shocks transmitted to the panels M and can cushion the panels M during transportation.
Further, the thin film display panel M is loaded in the packaging apparatus such that the lower part thereof faces downwards, so that a drive circuit Ml provided on the lower part of the thin film display panel M is aligned with the circuit seat grooves 210 formed on the support seat 200. Thus, the drive circuit Ml can be protected from damage caused by interference or contact thereof with the support seat 200.
After a plurality of thin film display panels M are horizontally packaged in respective packaging apparatuses by repeating the above-mentioned process, the packaging apparatuses, in which the respective thin film display panels M are horizontally packaged, are laid atop one another as follows. That is, a plurality of cushion members 700 are arranged at predetermined regular intervals on a thin film display panel M horizontally packaged in a lowermost packaging apparatus, another packaging apparatus, in which another thin film display panel M is horizontally packaged, is laid atop the lowermost packaging apparatus .
In the present invention, the packaging frame 100, which constitutes the packaging apparatus of the present invention, is provided on the upper and lower surfaces thereof with a plurality of locking protrusions 110 and a plurality of locking slots 120 at positions corresponding to the plurality of locking protrusions 110. Thus, in the above case, the plurality of locking protrusions 110 formed on the upper surface of the lower one of the two vertically laid packaging apparatuses are inserted into the plurality of locking slots 120 formed on the lower surface of the upper packaging apparatus, so that the two apparatuses can be stably and securely placed relative to each other. To achieve the above-mentioned object, each of the locking protrusions 110 has a height higher than the thickness of each of the cover bodies 300a and 300b which respectively cover the upper and lower surfaces of the packaging frame 100, preferably, such that the height of an exposed part of each of the locking protrusions 110 outside the cover bodies 300a and 300b is almost similar to the depth of each of the locking slots 120.
After a plurality of packaging apparatuses are completely laid atop one another to reach a predetermined desired height by repeating the above-mentioned manner, a lid 600 is placed on the top of the uppermost packaging apparatus to finish the process of vertically stacking the apparatuses. In the above case, the plurality of locking protrusions 110 formed on the upper surface of the packaging frame 100 of the uppermost packaging apparatus are inserted into respective lid locking slots 610 formed on the lower surface of the lid 600 at positions corresponding to the plurality of locking protrusions 110. Thus, the lid 600 can be stably and securely placed on the uppermost packaging apparatus. Further, the thick part 620 of the lid 600 cushions and supports the thin film display panel M packaged in the uppermost packaging apparatus .
Here, the term "desired height" of the vertically stacked packaging apparatuses means a height, to which the packaging apparatuses respectively packaging the thin film display panels can be variously stacked atop one another in a variety of transportation containing boxes, such as the freight boxes of vehicles or transportation containers having differently standardized sizes, according to different heights of the loading spaces of the containing boxes, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency.
Thus, even if external shocks are applied to the vertically stacked packaging apparatuses during transportation, most external shocks are not directly transmitted to the packaging frames 100, but are efficiently absorbed by the cover bodies 300a and 300b which cover each of the packaging frames 100. Thus, impact energy applied to the packaging frames 100 can be minimized.
The packaging apparatus of the present invention is preferably made of an expanded synthetic resin material having a cushioning function and, furthermore, a plurality of cushion members 700 are placed between the horizontally packaged thin film display panels M. Thus, remaining external shocks, which may be transmitted to the packaging frames 100 without being absorbed by the cover bodies 300a and 300b, can be secondarily absorbed by the support seat 200, corresponding to the shape of the thin film display panel M, and the cushion members 700. Therefore, the packaging apparatuses of the present invention can safely transport the thin film display panels M without damaging or breaking the panels.
When a thin film display panel M is unloaded from the packaging apparatus of the present invention after transportation, fingers of a user can approach the opposite edges of the thin film display panel M through the handling slots 130 which are formed on the opposite inner surfaces of the packaging frame 100. Thus, the user can easily remove the thin film display panel M from the packaging frame 100.
Further, in the packaging apparatus having a plurality of packaging parts horizontally, continuously and integrally arranged according to a modification of the first embodiment of the present invention as shown in FIG. 8, the number of U-shaped shorter cover bodies 300b having the same size are increased to correspond to the number of horizontally arranged packaging parts. Thus, the modification reduces the gap between a plurality of packaging apparatuses which are laid atop one another to a minimum level, so that the space required by the packaging apparatuses when loading the packaging apparatuses in a shipping means, such as containers, can be minimized, thereby maximizing the loading efficiency. Further, the packaging apparatus of the present modification minimizes breakage or damage to thin film display panels by external shocks during transportation.
The reinforcing film, which is embodied as the reinforcing means of the packaging apparatus according to the second embodiment or the modification of the second embodiment of the present invention, and the fusion-compressed hard skin, which is embodied as the reinforcing means of the packaging apparatus according to the third embodiment or the modification of the third embodiment of the present invention, yield the same operational effect to protect the thin film display panel from breakage or damage by external shocks as that described for the first embodiment and the modification of the first embodiment of the present invention, and further explanation is thus not deemed necessary.
Although preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described for an apparatus to package incomplete-state thin film display panels, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the apparatus of the present invention may be used to package complete-state thin film display panels.